Zucchini Noodles With Sunflower Seed Pesto

 

Oodles of zoodles forever! Seriously, I never cease to find different ways to make zucchini noodles, and I find no reason to stop trying! This was my first time making sunflower seed pesto, and I have to say, it is DAMN good. The nice thing about sunflower seeds is that they are dirt cheap, which makes them an economical choice for something like pesto. Plus, they're filled with a ton of vitamins and minerals and other important nutrients like fatty acids.

**The recipe for the sunflower seed pesto below yields a large amount, so you definitely don't want to use the whole thing for one portion of zoodles, but definitely save some for later.**

Don't forget, if you want more fun spiralized recipes, you can check out my Spiralizer Recipe Book available on Amazon, in-stores and online from Barnes and Noble, and in select Whole Foods! Makes a great Christmas gift ;) !!

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cherry tomatoes (about 1/4 cup), chopped in halves

Ingredients for Sunflower Seed Pesto (makes about 8 servings)

  • 1/2 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds (shell off)
  • 1 tablespoon filtered water
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • Juice of 2 small lemons

1. Prepare pesto first by blending together all of the ingredients until smooth, but not creamy. You want texture, but you don't want to have big chunks of sunflower seeds in there. I suggest pulsing for a few seconds at a time to get the right consistency, although it shouldn't be hard because the sunflower seeds blend easily. Set aside.

2. Cut zucchini in half crosswise, and slice off both ends. Spiralize using a small noodle blade.

3. Heat up olive oil in a large pan on medium-low heat. Add zucchini noodles, and cook for about 2-4 minutes or until zucchini begin to soften, but don't get wilted. Stir occasionally so that the zucchini noodles cook evenly. 

4. When zucchini noodles are cooked, turn off heat and add a tablespoon or two of the pesto. Toss, and serve warm or cold. Top with cherry tomatoes, and transfer the rest of the pesto to a jar to save for later!

Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns

 

I've made a lot of different things with spaghetti squash, but I think this has to be my all-time favorite. Spaghetti squash hash browns are as good as they sound, and they're SO EASY. I want to eat them for breakfast every single day. 

This recipe is perfect for when you have leftover cooked squash from the night before — it really cuts down on prep time. 

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1/2 spaghetti squash, cooked (Instructions here)
  • 1 pasture-raised egg
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

To serve with hash browns:

  • 1 pasture-raised fried egg
  • Avocado slices

1. Squeeze all the water out of the spaghetti squash using your hands. You might want to do this a few times to make sure you get all the water out. Pat dry with a paper towel. 

2. In a large bowl, mix spaghetti squash with one egg, onions, garlic, and parsley. 

2. Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add spaghetti squash mixture for about 10 minutes or until squash begins to turn golden brown. Mix occasionally with a spatula so squash doesn't burn.  

3. Serve warm with a side of fried egg and avocado slices, and top with a little pinch of salt and pepper to taste. 

Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries

 

French fries are definitely my guilty pleasure, but if you're like me and you love fries, that doesn't mean you need to head to McDonalds. There are plenty of ways to make healthy french fries at home, but you can it one step further and make this snack even healthier by using carrots.

For this recipe, I used a vegan Parmesan cheese that I used in another recipe of mine, but if you want these to be real cheesy fries, you can go ahead and use real Parmesan! Both work just as well. 

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4 jumbo carrots, or 6 smaller ones
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (I used a vegan version, but regular works as well)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice your carrots into french fry-sized pieces. Add them to a medium bowl, and toss with olive oil, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, and parsley until evenly coated. 

2. Spread carrots onto an aluminum-foil lined baking sheet, making sure they're even and not on top of each other.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes until carrots begin to get crispy. Let cool for about 5 minutes and serve warm. 

Cauliflower Rice Bowl with Zucchini Ribbons and Soft-Boiled Egg

 

Is it a breakfast bowl or a lunch bowl? I'll leave that for you to decide, but as far as I'm concerned, it can definitely be both. This bowl is perfect for those of you who don't have a spiralizer (although in my biased opinion, I obviously think you should get one!). To create these zucchini ribbons, all you need is a peeler. 

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 2 pasture-raised eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ghee butter (or extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 3/4 cup cauliflower rice
  • 1 small/medium zucchini
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 heaping tablespoon sun dried tomatoes
  • Handful of parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Black pepper

1. Add eggs to a small pot, and then fill up with water. Bring to a boil, and then remove from heat. Let eggs sit in warm water for 5 minutes, then remove from hot water, and place into a bowl of cold water to cool. 

2. In a medium pan, heat up ghee gutter on medium-low heat. Add cauliflower rice, and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until soft.

3. While cauliflower rice is cooking, begin peeling zucchini ribbons. Lay the zucchini on a cutting board, and using a peeler, start at the top of the zucchin and peel down to the bottom lengthwise. Remove the top skin, and then begin to carefully peel ribbons from top to bottom, putting pressure on the peeler so the ribbons come out thick. 

3. Remove cauliflower rice from pan, and add to a bowl. Keep the heat on the pan, and add olive oil. Add zucchini ribbons and cook for about 2 minutes or so until the are soft. Add to the bowl with the cauliflower rice.

4. Remove the eggs from the bowl of water and carefully peel off the shell. Slice them in half and add them to the bowl. Top with sun dried tomatoes and parsley along with lemon juice. Finish off with cracked black pepper, to taste. 

Spaghetti Squash Marinara with Vegan Lentil Meatballs

 

Before I ever knew about spiralizing, I used to make spaghetti squash all the time in place of pasta. You don't need a special gadget to make it, and all you need are a knife to slice the squash in half and oven to bake it in — and maybe a spoon to scoop everything out! 

This play on spaghetti and meatballs is vegan and gluten-free, and I even made a special dairy-free Parmesan cheese to top off your meal!

Ingredients (serves 2-3)

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 2 cups marinara/tomato sauce 
  • Dried parsley (or fresh, if you prefer!0
  • Black pepper

Ingredients for Vegan Meatballs

  • 1 cup cooked lentils (about 1/2 cup uncooked)
  • 1/2 small/medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, choppe
  • 3/4 cup white mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Ingredients for Vegan Parmesan Cheese

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Place face-down on an aluminum-foil lined baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until spaghetti squash is soft in the middle and can be easily scooped out. 

2. While spaghetti squash is cooking, prepare lentils for the meatballs (you can also used precooked lentils here). Cook according to package. 

3. While lentils are cooking, heat up 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pan on medium-low heat. Chop up mushrooms and then add to pan along with onions and garlic. Cook for 5-7 minutes until mushrooms are soft and onions are translucent.

4. When lentils are ready, add to a medium bowl along with the mushrooms, garlic, and onions. Add the mustard, flaxseed, and spices. Mix together, and then transfer to a blender. Blend together until mixture is smoother and more even, but still has some texture. You don't want to the meatballs to be too blended, so it's okay to have chunks of lentils, mushrooms, or onions in your meatball mix to give it a meatier texture.

5. When spaghetti squash is finished, scoop out the inside of the squash and add to a separate bowl. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the baking sheet with some new aluminum foil and spray with some oil or nonstick spray. Form lentil mixture into 2-inch balls, and place onto the baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes until meatballs begin to get firm. They should be crisp on the outside, but still a little soft on the inside.

6. While meatballs are cooking, prepare the vegan parmesan cheese. Add cashews, nutritional yeast, and garlic powder to a food process. You can also use a blender or a Nutribullet, but if you are using the Nutribullet, be sure to use the flat milling blade. Blend together until a fine meal is achieved. 

7. When meatballs are almost ready, heat up 2 cups of marinara sauce in the medium pan. Add spaghetti squash and mix until evenly coated with the sauce. Sprinkle with a few dashes of dried parsley and pepper. Add meatballs, top with a sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese, and serve warm.